He was nearly skin and bones. No where close to the shape that he should have been in, had others done the right thing and taken proper care of him. My mom and I were in a town called Metamora, about 45 minutes from our home. He was sunbathing when we first saw him and yet he looked so cold and alone, like he wanted someone to take him home so badly, but it just never happened. So I gave my mom THAT look and she understood. If this cat was outside any longer there was no telling how much time he had left. So we scooped him up and he rode home with us. His name was going to be Hendrix, after the late and great Jimi Hendrix..someone I admire greatly. They both shared that peaceful way about them, that "everything is going to be okay", kind of thing. And it was true...my Hendrix let me know that it was going to be okay, no matter what. |
When we arrived at home I took him in and set him down. He explored everything, he checked the rest of our animals out and on his own time he found his way to my lap. We watched TV together, snuggled and eventually we went to sleep. The next day I made him an appointment at the vets office to get a check up and find out what kind of shape he was in. We spent another night together and then it was off to the vets office. The entire way there I told Hendrix that I loved him, I was not going to leave him, that he was my baby & everything was going to be alright. We waited our turn and when we eventually saw the doctor, he requested that a couple extra tests be done and I agreed. They took some blood and when the doctor came back through that door my heart sank right away. He had that look on his face...and he told me that Hendrix was very sick...and that if I chose to take him back home with me, that my other cats could be put in real danger. So I had to make the decision right then and there. In that cold and lifeless vet room..while just 30 minutes before I had swore to Hendrix that he was going to be okay, that everything was going to be fine.
When he left from his body I was weeping as though my heart and soul had ripped in two pieces...because it had. From the moment I first saw him I felt that he was just meant to be with us. Not belong to us..because that is not love. But more that his soul and my soul were long apart but we had found one another, finally. He had a collar with his name on it on the way, he was going to get treats and toys for Christmas, along with my other cats. Everything felt so natural with his presence in our home, in my arms...and losing him just as quickly as I had found him was earth shattering for me. I was, and still am, devastated that he left me. More so that I let him down...
I wanted to save Hendrix by taking him away from what I thought to be a miserable and uneasy life for him....but instead I ended his life. Maybe he was happy, maybe he was okay with his situation. But I intervened, I took that all away from him..and perhaps he wasn't happy...but I will never know. All I do know is that I live with that quilt and that shame everyday, that maybe I did mess up in the biggest way possible and I caused more damage than good....
All I do know is that I miss Hendrix every single day and although he sits above my headboard in a small, wooden box; it will never be the same as him sitting in my lap, looking up at me with those loving eyes. In hindsight, maybe that was his way of telling me that he knew his time was limited. He knew that while that vet visit was not going to have a happy ending...maybe he was just happy to have been in a loving and safe place, even if it was only for 24 hours. I like to think he is with me every so often. I get surges of pain in my legs from time to time and I believe it is him visiting me when he can. Maybe he is letting me know that everything is okay. That he is alright. That he knows how much I absolutely love him...because I will always love him until I happen to take my last breathe and my time comes to visit that rainbow bridge.
I will live with a lot of what-if's and questions about Hendrix for the rest of my life. But the rainbow bridge has provided me with the proper outlets and channels to grieve the loss of my sweet baby Hendrix, while also thinking about what he is doing now..and where he might be in the universe.
If there was ever a bittersweet moment I've had in my life, the short time with my baby Hendrix would be it. I love you and I will see you when see you.